Management of the world-wide operations of the Church of Scientology is vested in ecclesiastical bodies located in Los Angeles. The Executive Director International is assisted by eleven senior executive officers, each of whom oversees a particular activity or function of the Church. The bureaucratic structure of the Church of Scientology International (CSI) bears some resemblances to that of the Roman Catholic Church, though the tasks of the various officials within the CSI are specific to Scientology, reflecting the organizational and administrative theories propounded by L. Ron Hubbard.

The Church of Scientology places particular emphasis upon ensuring that the procedures used in auditing and training are exactly as specified by Hubbard. His writings on Scientology are spoken of as the Scriptures. These writings thus perform a function analogous to that performed by sacred writings in various other religions. The final arbiter of orthodoxy and orthopraxis in Scientology is the Religious Technology Center, established by Hubbard for this purpose.

Consistent with their belief that they are immortal spiritual beings, some members of the Church of Scientology sign pledges of eternal service to Scientology and its goals. These persons are members of a religious order known as the Sea Organization. They wear distinctive uniforms and generally live communally. Here again there are obvious similarities to religious orders in some other religions.

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